Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Chinquapin?
A: Chinquapin Preparatory School is a private college-preparatory school for students in grades 6-12 located 20 miles east of downtown Houston. Since 1969, Chinquapin has prepared students from Houston’s under-resourced communities and schools for college. Our school’s unique mission provides students with 7 years of high-quality education through small class sizes and intense preparation, and our graduates have a remarkable record of college completion.
Q: Where is Chinquapin located?
A: We are located off exit 789 on 10 East, near Baytown, 20 miles east of downtown Houston. We run bus routes throughout the greater Houston area and over 90% of our student body is from Houston. We also have students from Seabrook, Pasadena, Baytown, Spring, and other outlying cities. All students who do not board on campus receive transportation to and from school based on our annually updated bus schedule.
Q: How much does it cost to attend Chinquapin Prep?
A: The cost to attend Chinquapin is approximately $18,000 annually. Most of the students’ tuition at Chinquapin Prep is paid for by our contributors, but a small amount is charged per student for tuition, room, board, and transportation. This sliding scale fee is based on a confidential income statement, and ranges from $40 to $325+ per month, with the majority paying $50 or less. To help cover this cost, students may work extra hours on campus in addition to their daily chores. The work-study program at Chinquapin instills a deep sense of pride in the students who participate in it, knowing that they are contributing in an important way to the already stellar Chinquapin legacy.
Q: Why Chinquapin?
- At Chinquapin, the admissions process is not a lottery system. Students are carefully selected by our Admission committee who considers grades, test scores, recommendations, and an interview. Every accepted student is someone our Admissions committee believes will fit into our community and add to the ‘love of learning’ culture that has become a hallmark of a Chinquapin student.
- Chinquapin is small, with 160 students, and has very small class sizes with an 8 to 1 student-teacher ratio. This allows Chinquapin teachers and students opportunities to talk and dive deeply into subjects in the classroom. Often, our teachers become lifelong mentors to our graduates as they form meaningful relationships through our unique community. Chinquapin students commonly refer to the school as their “second family.”
- As discussed above, each accepted student is offered a scholarship to help cover tuition, transportation, and meals. The cost to attend Chinquapin is quite low, sometimes even $0 for families who qualify.
- Unlike most private or charter schools, Chinquapin Prep offers a full college preparatory program in 6th-12th grades with a full weekly boarding program for boys in 7th-12th grades and girls in 8th-12th grades. No sixth-grade students are allowed to board. Boarding is optional for boys in 7th and 8th grades and is mandatory for high school boys. Boarding is optional but encouraged for girls in 8th-12th grades. Students are not charged for boarding. Students who do not board are transported to school daily. The bus schedule varies year to year depending upon where our students live. Our current bus routes can be found here.
- More than 85% of Chinquapin graduates complete a college education. In contrast, approximately 1 in 10 students in Houston Independent School District —where many of our students come from—graduate from college. Indeed, Chinquapin is among the few college preparatory schools that require acceptance to a four-year college or university in order to graduate.
- Chinquapin has full interscholastic programs for middle school and high school in soccer, cross country, volleyball, basketball, tennis, and track.
- Chinquapin’s 55-acre campus and 24 buildings include a 13,000-volume library, two dormitories, a full kitchen, a gym with locker rooms and weight rooms, a music studio, an art studio, and residences for up to 22 adult faculty and staff members.
- Chinquapin has built an endowment of $12 million and is able to fund over 90% of its expenses. The Chinquapin Endowment is overseen by a separate Chinquapin Endowment Board and we have had highly successful and stable leadership both administratively and on its Board. The Board of Trustees recently hired the fifth director of the school since 1969.
- Since our founding, our students have lived by the school motto, Quid Pro Quo. As a testament to that motto, all of the students work to maintain the campus, clean, serve food, and improve the facilities and its many native Texas plants. The school employs only one full-time groundskeeper and no janitors.
- Chinquapin is a private, non-profit college prep school, and as such we have chosen not to participate in standardized testing protocols such as STAAR or other NCLB testing. We believe that our highly qualified and talented faculty members are fully capable of providing excellent curriculum and instruction that ensures success after high school and especially in college. Our philosophy is to replace “teaching to a test” with “teaching to learn” and instill a lifelong love of learning in each of our students.
Q: How many students apply to Chinquapin Prep?
A: It is not unusual to have over 200 applicants competing for roughly 30 openings each year. Make sure to show up to recruiting meetings on time, and plan to stay for a few hours.
Q: What if my child is not accepted to Chinquapin Prep?
A: Any child not accepted to Chinquapin Prep may re-apply the following spring. Applications do not carry over to the next year, so the entire recruiting meeting/Summer Session process must be completed to be reconsidered.
Q: What are the bus stop locations and times?
A: Stops may vary slightly from year to year depending on where our students live, Our current bus routes can be viewed here.
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Chinquapin Preparatory School does not discriminate in admissions, hiring or firing of faculty/staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services against any individual on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity (gender expression), marital status, age, disability, race, color, national or ethnic origin (ancestry), military status, or religion (creed) in any of its activities or operations in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Chinquapin is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our Board, faculty/staff, students/families, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and donors. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Chinquapin Preparatory School does not discriminate on the basis of sex in education programs and/or activities, admissions, or employment. Any member of the Chinquapin community should promptly report any instances of discrimination, harassment, or violence.